Grubhub/Seamless Files for an IPO with Hopes of Many More Cold Months

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Online takeout middleman GrubHub has filed for an initial public offering that it hopes will raise $100 million. And to help it along, it's rooting for some cold weather.

The company hopes to be listed under the moniker GRUB on the stock market, it wrote in an S-1 filing with the SEC todayFresh off its merger with Seamless last year, GrubHub has seen a huge increase in users, up from just under 1 million in 2012 to 3.4 million last year.

More users means more business, of course, and the average daily orders ramped up to about 108,000 for 2013.

The company seems to be growing smoothly on its own as mobile and online orders continue to increase. But one way the company could see better sales is with some more cold weather. GrubHub notes in the S-1 "significant" sales differences between the colder months and the warmer May-to-August summer. "Seasonality will likely cause fluctuations in our financial results on a quarterly basis," the company writes. Those summer months are doubly bad, too, as those lazy college students are off campus for break and therefore order less online.

Yes, GrubHub and Seamless love the miserable winter weather. Sales increased during the Polar Vortex, the company told The New Yorker, which also found that consumers tipped better in that time. This makes obvious sense; Ugg boots, another cold-weather staple, also saw surprising gains this winter cycle.

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Seamless and GrubHub did have a mini-scandal in the past few days with the discovery of a network of fake restaurant accounts on the site, with several addresses connecting to one restaurant. The company said they took steps to solve that problem, and reiterated those types of imperfections in the S-1. "We also provide diners with information and transparency about their orders and status and solve problems that may arise."

Even with that problem, with a foot of snow coming across area from Kansas to New York, GrubHub is already licking its chops.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.